Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Glorious Gravel Gardens

Well I never thought I would get quite this excited about gravel but actually it really does inspire me.  Gravel is one of the most underused material in the Tuscan garden especially by overseas home owners.  Strangely no matter how much property owners from the UK, USA, Germany and France love classic Tuscan gardens they still want Lawns!  This is often a topic that causes some difficult discussions and heated conversations with our clients.  Lawns are expensive and need a huge amount of yes you guessed it Water.  So at the risk of getting hot under my collar about lawns in Tuscany I'll stick to my original topic 'glorious gravel'.

Gravel can be practical and hard wearing, it can be cost effective and a quick solution for some areas but most of all gravel is an attractive solution. Gravel paths can weave through gardens from space to space, gravelled driveways give a sense of grandeur to a property, gravelled beds keep the soil cool and hydrated whilst also acting as a protective mulch.

Now there are many types of gravel, I favour river bed gravel for ornamental or formal spaces, whereas more angular rough gravels are better suited to sloped driveways where water flow would cause round or bevelled gravel to roll away.  Essentially, if you do the groundwork well a gravel garden will give a relatively low maintenance result.  You will need to excavate, base line with a permeable membrane and then lay a specialist honeycombed product which will hold your gravel in place.

On an aesthetic note, gravel gardens are classic elements of formal Tuscan Gardens and can transform an otherwise unattractive area.  For centuries gravel paths have been used to divide formal beds and borders and they often protect plants from invasion from rampant weeds.  The moisture retained within the gravel allow plants to enjoy a little moisture when the Tuscan Sun is at its most forceful.  So if you have a large but tired expanse of expensive lawn why not consider breaking it up with a few graveled areas.

Please do call me to discuss your ideas on 3345995702

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